Nuclear power systems for human mission to Mars

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Authors
McGinnis, Scott J.
Subjects
Space nuclear power
Mars
Manned Mars mission
Nuclear electric propulsion
Specific mass
Advisors
Date of Issue
2004-12
Date
December 2004
Publisher
Monterey California. Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
Nuclear power is the next enabling technology in manned exploration of the solar system. Scientists and engineers continue to design multi-megawatt power systems, yet no power system in the 100 kilowatt, electric, range has been built and flown. Technology demonstrations and studies leave a myriad of systems from which decision makers can choose to build the first manned space nuclear power system. While many subsystem engineers plan in parallel, an accurate specific mass value becomes an important design specification, which is still uncertain. This thesis goes through the design features of the manned Mars mission, its power system requirements, their design attributes as well as their design faults. Specific mass is calculated statistically as well as empirically for 1-15MWe systems. Conclusions are presented on each subsystem as well as recommendations for decision makers on where development needs to begin today in order for the mission to launch in the future.
Type
Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Department
Mechanical and Astronautical Engineering (MAE)
Organization
Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.).
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
Sponsors
Funder
Format
xvi, 87 p. : ill. (some col.), col. maps
Citation
Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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